January 20, 2020 by RichAds Team
RichAds Team
Push Ads in 2020: Complete Advertiser’s Guide
What push notification advertising is? Push ads is one of the red hot and chilly ad formats. It is visible but doesn’t look like usual ads that’s why it can be positioned as a native ad format. Let's dwell on how to make a profit on push ads.

Push notifications advertising or push ads is one of the red hot and chilly ad formats. Push advertising is visible but doesn’t look like usual ads that’s why it can be positioned as a native ad format.  Push notifications show high efficiency and please with their loyal rules of moderation. 

Web push notification technology itself is nothing new. But they have started to be used for advertising purposes very recently. Push marketing skyrocketed at the end of 2018 and continue involving users with its simplicity and great results.

Do you want to know how to use a new ad format? In this guide, we will tell you more about push notifications and how to make money on them.

Push Ads Format

Introduction into Push notifications

Varieties of push notifications

Web push notification technology is known for a long time. In 2009 Apple first used it to send messages from servers or apps to users. This innovation was immediately noticed and used by Google and Microsoft. 

There are the following types of push notifications:

📌 Web push notifications — this technology allows sending push notifications via browser subscription with help of the server. It has been used by Apple and other industry giants. They can be used as advertising.

Example of in-app push notification

📌 In-app push notifications — technology sends push notifications to users of apps. This kind of push may contain, for example, news from social networks and reminders from the apps. Push notifications from apps interact with the existing audience without attracting new users. In-app push notifications also have started to be used for advertising purposes. 

📌 In-page push notifications — this step is the last one in developing push notifications technology. In-page push ad format allows showing ads to iOS users that had no such opportunity before. 

Technically, in-page push is similar to pop up but it may look like push notification window or message from messengers.  It is used mostly for demonstration new messages in web versions of social networks.

In this guide, we will speak about different types of push notifications and how they can be used for advertising purposes. 

Part 1. Push ads: all you need to know

What are advertising web push notifications?

Advertising web push notifications is a kind of native ads. It looks like a private message or important notification from the website which appears on the screen over the other windows. Push ads can be sent to users of mobile phones, usual desktops, laptops, and tablets. In other words, to any device with the browser and Internet connection.

How push notifications look like on different devices
How push notifications look like on different devices

While most users have adapted to the abundance of ads ignoring banners, push notifications have a significant advantage. They are hard to miss on any device but, at the same time, they don’t look like ads.

Push notifications are located on the screen over the other windows. On the laptop push notifications appear in the right lower corner. They are very much alike to messages from messengers that’s why we have to perforce view its content.

The message can be viewed on the screen for a few minutes so the user can read the content and click on it.

How the push notification looks like

Push notification consists of:

  • the main image which conveys the sense of the offer;
  • the small icon which explains the main photo;
  • the headline is the main element to engage users;
  • the message text shows the main details of the offer.

Usually, push notification consists of all the listed elements but on mobile devices, it is sent in the short form without the main image. To see the main image you should expand push.

Push ads are relevant for the most ambitious or even crazy ideas. Push notification’s look is limited only by the template (the size of the main image icon, the number of symbols for the text). As for the rest, your imagination is limited to nothing but the content policy of each ad network.

Learn more about how push notification ads look in different operating systems and browsers here.

The mechanism for subscription to web push notifications

Imagine that the user sees a push notification on the screen. But what happens next? If the user is interested in the content he can click on the push and go to the landing page of the offer. Then there is only one step up to the conversion.

But which users will get push notifications? Let’s dwell on the technology of subscription and sending out push ads.

Any website can place a part of the code to subscribe users to push notifications. For website owners (they are also called publishers) it’s one of the ways of monetizing their resource. Find more about publishers in RichAds here.

When the user appears on such a page he will see the proposal of subscription to push notifications. The user can ignore this request.

How the form of subscription to push notifications looks like 
How the form of subscription to push notifications looks like 

The process is absolutely anonymous, the user doesn’t have to leave his private data. His consent to the subscription is encrypted with the help of the code which can’t be copied or got by any third party resources.

After subscription, the user is being added to the RichAds or any ad network’s base the publisher works with.

When you choose push ad network you get the audience who has visited publishers’ websites from this network and agreed to receive notifications from it.

When an advertiser creates the advertisement it is automatically sent to the devices of all the users that fall under conditions of the targeting. Meanwhile, the user doesn’t have to stay on the website to receive push notifications.

How push notification looks like on the desktop

The technology of push notifications’ delivery will send push notification even if the user is offline. He will see this notification as soon as he is online.

Web push advertising and it’s advantages

Comparing push notifications to other ad formats, they definitely have a number of advantages.

🎯 One of the advantages is the voluntariness of subscription Unlike other ad formats, users agree to get ad materials by themselves. It means that they will be more loyal to the offers.

🎯 The audience consists of real people who subscribe to push notifications independently.

🎯 Push notifications are delivered to the user’s screen. No fails with delivery: only the target audience will see the ads. If the user is offline when notifications are delivered, he will see them as soon as he is online. 

🎯 For advertisers push traffic is a great possibility to attract a new audience. In the 21st-century push notifications is an analog of radio or TV. The wide reach of the audience allows promoting a variety of offers. The most important thing is to choose offers reasonably: too narrow audience or B2B work worse than consumer products.  

Push ads advantages

🎯 Large volumes of traffic and the possibility to get a lot of statistics for optimization in a short time. 

🎯 Working with push notifications you pay for clicks not for impressions. RichAds provides traffic on the CPC model. The minimum cost per click starts from $0.003 and varies according to GEO.

For example, in the USA minimum cost per click is $0.0104, recommended is $0.05.

In India minimum cost per click is $0.00312, recommended is $0.01.

🎯 You don’t need large budgets to work with push marketing. Democratic cost per click makes this format affordable for learning by newbies in affiliate marketing and allows everybody to make profit. The minimum deposit in RichAds ad network is $100.

🎯 Push notifications stand out by loyal content policy. This ad format is considered to be one of the most attractive for affiliate marketers: unlike Facebook and other channels, it allows advertising a maximum wide pool of offers without using cloaking. Sweepstakes, Gambling, Adult (only with pre-landing page) – all these verticals are available in push notifications. It means a lack of bans and tricks. 

🎯 Push notifications allow launching offers in any GEO. RichAds has an audience in more than 220 countries around the world. You can find an appropriate offer and traffic for it.

Push traffic disadvantages

Like any ad format push traffic has its weaknesses. If you know them you will reduce their influence on the ad campaign’s results. 

🔨 Native web push notifications are not available for iOS users 

Push notifications audience is not limited by GEOs, browsers, or devices.

But for a long time push ads couldn’t reach iOS users as iOS system didn’t allow to use subscriptions. It was true unless in-page push was invented. Now iOS users are available for marketers even on push traffic!

Only some ad networks work with this type of push notifications. We will tell you how they work a little bit later.

🔨 There is no possibility of advanced audience targeting according to interests or socio-demographic rates. 

That’s understandable: when subscribing users don’t leave their private data. On one hand, it can hamper work but on the other hand, it’s the possibility to attract the audience you may not have considered as a target before. It doesn’t mean that there is no targeting on push notifications but they differ from usual social networks targeting options. For example, there are 14 targeting parameters in RichAds.


🔨 Direct links not always work well with push traffic. 

The user doesn’t search for your products as in case of SEO or context ads. Having received push he is not ready to respond to the offer, but more likely shows interest. It’s better to stimulate him using the pre-landing page. Pre-landers with elements of gamification or storytelling convert great with push notifications. 

🔨 Push ad campaign claims diversity and rotation of creatives.

The principle “the more creatives you use, the better” works really nice with push traffic. Multiple creatives help to make a/b testing and choose what the audience likes. But even if you’ve chosen creatives that perform really well, it’s necessary to change these variants so that users don’t get tired of them. It works like on TV here: for the first time you watch ads with interest but then you know what happens next and focus less on it. Taking into account the fact that some users need more than 1 spot for the conversion it’s reasonable to change creatives.  

🔨 The creative should meet the requirements to pass moderation.

Push networks are known for their loyal content policy. But it doesn’t mean that there are no taboos here. You can figure out what you can launch in RichAds ad network here. 

New push ads format: in-page push

Push notifications were not available for iOS users until in-page push format – an absolutely new type of push ads – appeared. Now there are no limits for push notifications – they can reach all possible groups of users. 

In-page push notifications work like usual push notifications. It’s a mixture of push notification and popup. Technically in-page push resembles popup but it can look like push notification window or message from the messenger.  


The user sees push when he visits any publisher’s website. It is still noticeable appearing in the corner of the screen without interfering in surfing the page content. There is no need to subscribe the user that’s why there are no limits for iOS users. The ad push notification will be seen by all the users that have visited the website. 

An in-page push may show even higher conversion than usual push notifications. This is partly because the user is actively surfing the page and push doesn’t distract him from the principal activity. 

In-page push notifications have the same advantages as web notifications but they are also available on iOS.

RichAds has separate lists of sources that work with an in-page push format. We’ve marked them with green circles. Add them before launching the campaign and push notifications will reach even iOS users. 

How sources for push traffic look like

What verticals to choose for push ads?

Offers that solve users’ problems right now show especially nice results on push notifications. It’s better to choose offers that are aimed to a wide audience with different needs. 

A large number of users have the needs in:

  • money and status (financial offers, gambling and betting, sweepstakes and coupons, e-commerce);
  • health and beauty (weight loss products, self-care, medicine, biologically active substances);
  • dating;
  • entertainments (gaming, VR, video and streaming services, gambling and betting, adult);
  • news and education (subscriptions to different services (weather, horoscopes, news), online education);
  • mobile apps and anti-viruses would also work well.

Too specific offers that are interesting for a narrow range of users will hardly be successful on push notifications. Push marketing is appropriate for promoting B2B products and services. 

Verticals working best with push ads

A lot of verticals that are forbidden or limited in social networks work with push notifications. Here you can easily get conversions on Sweepstakes, Gambling, and Adult (only with pre-lander!). The main rule of successful moderation is using not very skimpy creatives and a lack of misleading. 

Fraudulent offers, questionnaires where the user should leave his credit card data, tech-support offers, auto-loads, cannabis-offers (even for countries where these substances are legalized), and other illegal offers are forbidden. 

Each ad network has its audience that’s why top verticals may be different. Use RichPush Insights tool to be aware of top verticals and useful statistics.

Relevant statistics on verticals, GEO, and bids is available in RichPush Insights

RichPush insights are a relevant statistics on verticals, GEO, bids, CTR, and impressions in real-time. There is everything each affiliate marketer must know to launch campaigns successfully.

Which targeting options are available for push ads?


If you didn’t work with push notifications before, pay attention to available targeting options. They differ from those that are used in other ad formats. 

Targeting options can be conditionally divided into 4 categories: technical targeting options, traffic sources, schedule of the campaign launching, and audience activity.

[wpsm_comparison_table id=”3″ class=”center-table-align”]

Why audience activity factor is important for conversions

Working with push notifications a lot depends on how much time has passed after the user’s subscription. The user reacts to push notifications more actively in the early days after subscription. As time goes by the user’s activity starts decreasing

New Subscribers Only targeting allows showing your ads to users that have subscribed to push notifications during the last 7 days. 

Thus you will have more potential clients. 

What should you know about technical targetings?

Habitual user profile on push notifications is hard to describe: we know neither age nor interests. But ad network allows setting up parameters that characterize users differently. 

👥 Country 

In RichAds, you can launch one campaign for users from one country. If you want to test one campaign for another region you have to create a separate campaign for another GEO.  

👥 City and region

This parameter allows showing ads to users from certain cities or regions of the country. This function will be useful for promoting offers in a certain city or region: for example, ads of discount on pizza in Berlin. During optimization, you can note that some regions and cities convert more effectively and it’s better to disable non-performing options. 

👥 Device type and model

A lot depends on the device type while working with push notifications. For example, a bid size. If you want to save money, create two different campaigns, and look at the results. A small detail but shares of a cent for significant campaigns may lead to a pleasant saved sum of money. Besides, you never know which device will show better results on your offer: try both. 

RichPush statistics on average CPC depending on country and device

👥 Operating system and browser

The operating system may testify to user’s solvency if we speak about Android users. The last OS versions tend to show the best results. Chrome is definitely a leader among different available browsers. Anyway, it’s better to optimize these parameters according to the first tests’ results. 

👥 Browser language

Browser language is especially useful for targeting countries with several state languages: this way you will find your target audience and will pay only for these impressions. Don’t forget that in this case creatives and landing pages should have the same language. 

👥Connection type and Carrier

These parameters will be useful if you launch click2call and click2sms offers or mobile subscriptions and polls. In other cases, you don’t have to use these targeting options.

Timing on push notifications: what you should know 

People surfing the net all day long. But each offer has its own relevant time. For example, Games and entertainment, Dating convert better in the evening and over the weekend. Some Nutra products are sold via call-centers that’s why the ad should be set up during their working hours not to lose leads. 

Experts recommend launching campaigns 24/7 and make conclusions after testing. For example, one gambling campaign in some Scandinavian country showed really nice results at 5 a.m. when people were getting ready for work. Without 24/7 testing this audience may be lost.

How to set up scheduling in your RichPush campaign

How to target traffic sources on push notifications

How to choose push advertising network?

Push networks are mushrooming and reaffirm that this format is quite popular. But how to choose the network suitable for you among this diversity?

🔎Evaluate the size of subscribers bases

The larger the base the more the possibility to find your target audience among subscribers. RichAds relevant audience now is 450M users worldwide. 

Besides, it’s useful to know where the traffic comes from: if the network has its own publishers base or it buys traffic from other networks (DMP). Find more about terms of corporations for publishers in RichAds here. 

🔎 Learn about traffic quality 

Although, all users subscribe to push notifications by themselves, a certain amount of bot traffic may be found among push notifications. One of the ways to confirm the lack of bots is traffic verification. All RichAds traffic is verified by Adscore.

🔎 Compare the number of available targeting options 

Push targeting is one of the main opportunities for optimization. The more options, the better. Some targeting options are especially useful, for example, the opportunity to divide the audience by time of subscription (new subscribers only function in RichAds).

🔎 Check if there are in-page push notification in certain network 

In-page push notifications allow sending out ads to solvent iOS users which furthermore were not familiar with this format. In-page push format is a huge advantage. 

 🔎Pay attention to tech support

Push notifications don’t resemble other ad formats that’s why timely expert’s help is a great aid. RichAds works according to the ticket system which means that all the appeals to support are fixed as separate tasks in a special accounting system. Your request will not be forgotten in messenger’s chat as it may be when support answer you straight to the messenger. 

Each RichAds user gets a personal manager if making at least $500 deposit. The manager will answer all the questions, help with profitable bundles, working sub-lists for a certain offer, and preparing creatives. 

🔎 Estimate optimization technologies

The main part of work with push notifications accounts for optimization. The more useful features and tools ad network has, the easier you will deal with data processing. RichAds has a number of cool features that will make your life much easier:

  • Micro bidding allows making different bids for different parameters in one campaign. The feature helps to save money on bids differentiation. If some sources in your campaign give many conversions but they are too expensive – you can lower the bid price for them. 
  • Automated rules help to automate the process of campaign optimization. You can spend just 5 minutes to set up parameters for making black and whitelists and they will continue working automatically. 
  • Machine Learning CPA automatically calculates sources that convert better and prioritize them over sources that convert worse. So, the conversion price decreases and the campaign gets more conversions at the target price. 

Part 2. How to set up a push ads campaign

Step 1. What to take into account for a successful start?

Any push campaign consists of 2 crucial parts: hypothesis testing and optimization based on the test’s results. Each affiliate marketer has his own approaches to the test: someone selects the maximum bid in order to quickly gather statistics and buy maximum clicks from the highest quality sources, someone increases the bid during optimization. We recommend starting the tests with the widest possible frames and narrowing them down according to the results. This piece of advice is applied to devices, schedules, and bids.

💪 Launch your campaign with 5-10 creatives to see which ones work best. After launching, leave the best creative, and replace it in time. So that creatives do not burn out, they should be changed every 4-5 days, even if they show good results.

💪 Find your unique ideas for creatives. People often use spy tools to search for the most effective creatives. Then they launch a campaign with this particular image and end up with a very low CTR. This happens because many advertisers run the same ad on one platforms. Not surprisingly, it is clicked little. The best way is to find a winning creative, understand how it shows high efficiency, and on the basis of this make your own even more effective. Creatives can also be ordered at RichAds.

💪 Test options with direct links and pre-landing pages in one campaign. RichAds allows you to add different links to different creatives. Use this feature during testing.

💪 Consult your manager to determine the best bid for your campaign. Useful statistics can also be viewed in RichPush Insights.

💪 At the start, set up conversions tracking. This will help in optimization and give access to the top features of RichAds: Target CPA, Automated rules, Micro Bidding.

💪 Set clicks limits of your ads. Lack of limits on clicks can lead to cost overrun: one user can endlessly click on the push notification and not to perform the target action. We recommend limiting to one or two clicks per user per day. 

💪 Use different Groups of Subscriber Lists wisely. Start with Premium ones, scale with Standard and New. Note, all of them have the same cost.
Premium sources showed the highest performance: conversion rate is 3 times higher than in other categories, no matter what niche you promote. Read more about Groups of Subscriber Lists here.

Groups of Subscriber Lists on push ads

Step 2. RichAds push traffic peculiarities

Each ad network has its own characteristics. As a rule, affiliate marketers recognize them in the work.

Push traffic is difficult to segment by gender, age, and interests because users do not leave their data when subscribing. We can only say about the approximate ratio of men and women. In RichAds, about 60% of the audience are men, and 40% are women.

This information will help you when choosing an offer and will guide you when creating creatives (for the test you can create several creatives targeted at women and several at men and see the results).

Best targeting options for push ads at RichAds

Information about the user often lies in which device and operating system it uses, which browser is more popular. This data will not make a complete user profile, they can more likely be called technical targeting, but they can also be used to test hypotheses.

It’s interesting that a small percentage of desktop traffic on the platform (about 10%) does not mean that it converts worse. RichAds experts advise launching campaigns on all devices and see which results the campaign shows on each of them. For some offer-geo combinations, desktop traffic will show better results than mobile.

According to Android, you can assume the solvency of your potential leads and, depending on the offer, target newer or older versions.

As for browsers, Chrome still holds the palm. Statistics show that it converts best of all.

Testing is still at the forefront of the process when it comes to launching a push campaign. Even if you’ve launched this offer in another ad network or in another geo, it does not mean that in the new campaign it will work the same way.

Even knowing the popular devices, don’t stop and perform tests: no one can guarantee in advance which geo will work out better.

Step 3.  How to make creatives for a successful push campaign?

The most important element when working with push traffic is the push itself or, as it is also called, creative. It is with creative that the sales funnel begins.

The user will have a few seconds to evaluate it and make a decision. It depends on its informativeness whether the user clicks on it or not. Therefore, it is so important to devote time to its competent design.

Push notifications are very brief. Ads with high-quality, vibrant images, and clear text work best.

It is important that all elements of the creative complement each other:

  • the icon suggests the sense of the proposal;
  • the main image attracts attention;
  • headline sells;
  • the description provides the necessary explanations.
What does the push notification consist of?

90% of RichAds push traffic comes from mobile devices. It means that most users get a short version of the push without the main image. For them, the main element of the push is the icon. The remaining 10% see the whole push and their attention is attracted to the main image.

Icon

The icon is perhaps the most important element of the push notification when it comes to mobile traffic. It helps the user to perceive information in push notifications faster.

If you run a campaign on mobile devices – this is the only image that the user sees on the screen. The better and more attractive the icon, the more clicks the push gets.

One large object with no details or monochrome images is the best option for the icon.

Main image

The first thing the user pays attention to when he gets a push notification on a computer is the main image.

The main requirement for it is large and clear illustrations. The plot with several characters and small details is not suitable for the image of the push notification. Lots of details will not be able to convey the sense of the offer, it will distract from the main point. The best practice is to use 1-2 large objects in the picture.

You can place a small text on the main image with the important details of your proposal. Do not use more than 2-3 words.

Ideas for the main images:

  1. Happy people;
  2. Bright colors;
  3. Options before and after;
  4. Result.

The headline and the text of the message

Statistically, the user needs 3 seconds to read the headline and understand whether he is interested in the proposal or not. Do not start from afar, immediately show the benefits or value of your proposal.

In addition, the size of the text is limited to 75 characters: the maximum length of the title is 30 characters, and the description is 45.

If you want to increase conversion, add emojis to the text! They draw attention to push notifications and increase conversions up to +10%.

Remember that quality text:

  • maintains a person’s interest in himself and his needs;
  • reports the latest news, talks about the event;
  • arouses curiosity;
  • promises to achieve the goal.

Find more tips here.

Examples of creatives for top verticals

Let’s look at good practices for creating creatives that convert.

Banners examples for Gambling and Betting
Banners examples for Nutra and Dating
Banners examples for E-commerce and Sweepstakes

Step 4. How to set up a push ad campaign?

Now you probably know everything you need to launch the first campaign. To facilitate your task, we have prepared a simple and clear video with world-class expert Ian Fernando. From it, you will know about the most important points for setting up a campaign and some secrets from our expert.

In addition, you can read the guide on creating the first push campaign here.

Learn more about optimization on push ads here.

Want to try push advertising now? 
Launch push ads

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